Have I forgotten anything 26 years on?

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

26 years ago on the 12th June I graduated with a degree in graphic design. I was leaving college full of ambition together with a little sprinkling of apprehension that I was letting go of the security that being in full time education gave me. I had always wanted to be a graphic designer and when I left college there was a recession, and being brutally honest, it was tough getting on the ladder. I saw some of my peers taking completely different routes away from the creative world in order to start a career. I didn’t want to do this, and started out as a part time paste up artist for a newspaper. As it turned out, this wasn’t such a bad move after all as it gave me a great introduction to the world of print AND commerce.

Now all these years later, I am enjoying being my own boss, working with a fabulous variety of clients, where no two days are the same. It is a big leap from where I was as a 20 year old but a journey with ups and downs as one would expect following a career path.

Now have I changed I wonder, and do I recognise that person in the mortar board looking back at me on a sunny day in Wales? I think I have a great deal in terms of knowledge and experience gained – I still can’t believe I didn’t know the difference between RGB and CMYK when I graduated! Working for myself I am now responsible for finding new clients which is a skill set I didn’t need as both a student and an employee. I do love what I do but am no longer in a position of creative absorption – something I had completely as a design student, and in abundance as an employee.

Looking back, do I miss this? Honestly, yes I do. I especially miss the naivety of being a student, having a freedom to explore that the commercial world with deadlines and budgets generally just doesn’t allow (in my world anyway). But I shouldn’t forget this, because it was part of my preparation for the commercial world after all. I must remember to let go with creative ideas because that’s where new and exciting work comes from. Graphic design isn’t a formula, and 26 years on with all my knowledge and experience, I need reminding of this from time to time.

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